Licensing & State Laws

Even though your teen is now licensed and driving alone, Nebraska’s licensing process is still at work.

School Learner’s Permit

Teens who reside in qualified rural areas and live more than one and one-half miles from school may apply for special school-only permits: After turning 14, qualified teens are eligible to apply for a school learner’s permit that allows them to practice driving for a school permit (SCP). Upon passing the required vision and written test, your teen may drive with a licensed parent or guardian for up to three months.

School Permit

When your teen turns 14 years 2 months and has driven under an LPE for at least two months, he or she may apply for a school permit. Before issuance, your teen must either successfully complete a DMV-approved driver safety course OR pass a written and driving test (waived under certain conditions), plus submit a DMV form certifying 50 hours of supervised practice driving, including 10 hours at night, signed by a licensed driver age 21 or older.

With a school permit, teens may drive unsupervised to and from school. They may also drive immediate family members (residing in the same household) to and from their respective schools. An SCP-licensed teen may drive anywhere when accompanied by a licensed driver age 21 or older.

Learner’s Permit

After turning 15, your teen may obtain a learner’s permit. Upon passing a vision and written test (waived under certain conditions), your teen may enroll in a DMV-approved driver safety course and drive under the supervision of a certified driving instructor, licensed parent, guardian or other driver age 21 or older.

With a learner’s permit, your child must log a minimum of 50 hours of supervised practice driving, including 10 hours at night.

Provisional License

When your teen turns 16, has driven on a learner’s permit for at least six months without accumulating three or more driving record points, he or she can obtain a provisional license. You or a legal guardian must first certify that your teen has completed the minimum requirements for practice driving or your teen may present a waiver form certifying successful completion of a state-approved driver education course. Your teen will be required to pass a vision test and may be subject to a written and/or driving test (call the DMV in advance for details). Under certain circumstances, teens transitioning from a school permit to a provisional license may be exempt from a written and/or driving test.

A teen with a provisional license is allowed to drive alone; however, the teen may not drive between midnight and 6 a.m. unless accompanied by a parent or licensed adult age 21 or older. Exceptions apply when driving between home, work and school. For the first six months, a teen driver with a provisional license is limited to no more than one passenger under age 19 (certain family members are exempt).

Full License

After 12 months on a provisional license or upon reaching age 18, your teen may apply for an unrestricted operator’s license as long as the teen has driven without accumulating three or more driving record points. Upon passing a written and driving test (waived under certain conditions), your teen will be issued an operator’s license.

If the teen has not been issued a full operator’s license, the teen driver and all passengers must wear safety belts. Additionally, Nebraska law prohibits teen drivers under the age of 18 from using cell phones or other wireless devices while driving — except for calling 911 or other emergency purposes. Nebraska law also prohibits drivers of any age from reading, composing or sending electronic text messages while operating a vehicle.

A parent-teen driving agreement can help you enforce the licensing rules that the state and your family set. An agreement helps you and your teen understand the rules of the road and sends a clear message that driving is an earned privilege that your family takes seriously.

The Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles is in charge of licensing for all drivers in Nebraska. All written exams and behind-the-wheel tests required for a driver’s license can be performed at most DMV offices. Please check in advance for locations, hours, fees, plus acceptable forms of identification your teen will need to present when applying for each stage of licensing. Study materials to help your teen get ready for the exams are also available.

  • Your teen should expect to present a valid driver’s license, vehicle registration and proof of auto insurance.
  • Explain to your teen that it is important to always cooperate and be respectful when speaking with law enforcement.
  • Make sure your teen understands the importance of talking to you about any encounters with law enforcement, because it can create a learning experience.

If your teen breaks a law, gets a ticket or is involved in a crash, it could lead to a court appearance and the following consequences.

  • Fines
  • Suspended driving privileges
  • Points
  • Attorney’s fees
  • Court costs
  • Insurance premium increases